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Cigarette Lighter Plug Replacement

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I would like to do the same thing and I did read someone did it. It might have been on one of the other Boxster boards.

What I read was that you just have to unscrew the Porsche socket disconnect the wires and screw in a generic USA one that is a bit deeper.

I haven't looked at how to get at it so if someone has done this please reply.


I've come to the determination that my cigarette lighter plug isn't deep enough to actually use any normal charging devices in it, and I'd like to replace it with a standard depth one. Any ideas?


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Suncoast sells a "US Spec" lighter socket upgrade for ~$25. I did it in about 15 minutes, just pop the panel off remove the old switch, install the new switch, reinstall panel. Fits GPS, cell phone chargers MUCH better.

That is excellent info, Lumpy05! That is precisely what I was looking for. Thank you! I'll be ordering that ASAP.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm about to attempt to do the same thing on my 2000 boxster. I ordered the suncoast adapter and was told it was a simple pull out/ plug in, but I've read horrendous stories on the forums. I tried twisting the trim piece off the front of the receptacle, but it doesnt appear to be threaded.

Any tips Lumpy05? What did you use to pry off the panel? How'd you get the lighter assembly out? I'm assuming you have to disconnect the battery then reprogram the windows and door locks. I'd love a lifeline on this project just because of the horror stories I've heard.

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the assembly is not threaded - friction/compression fitted. In the 2000 Boxster, the horse-shoe trim around the radio/etc. is 3 pcs: a left wing, right wing and center. All you need to remove is the right wing. Start at the bottom corner using either plastic trim panel removal tools or a kitchen butter knife covered w/ electrical tape to prevent scratching. Gently pry out on as large of an area/piece of corner as you can. Continue working your way up until the piece pops free... Remember, because it's plastic and 11-12 years old, you don't want to put too much pressure on a small point.

Once the trim panel is removed, disconnect electrical plug on back of current outlet. Then force the center and lighted ring out from the back side. Sometimes they come out easily, other times not so much. You will likely snap off the ear that has existing bulb in it. No worries as it's extremely unlikely you'll ever want to put the original back in and the new one comes w/ new light/ear.

To install the new... DO NOT attempt dry fit as you'll have much difficulty trying to separate the lighted ring form the socket (and you cannot put in the panel as one complete assembly). Instead, follow the directions... fit the lighted trim ring in the panel. Then slide in the socket (they may have changed the set up but you used to have to attached the light "ear" first). Push the socket in until it clicks into place - which will take some force. Reconnect electrical plug and test socket before you put wing back into horseshoe. All should be good to go and push wing back into the horseshoe.

Shouldn't take more than 20min even taking your good ole time... it's been a good 5 years since I did the one in my 986 but this pretty much covers the entire procedure. For later MY (2002+ IIRC), the horseshoe is one piece all the way around.. no separate wings and the switches for lock/PSM/etc. are horizontal not on the diagonal.

Battery disconnect is not at all necessary to complete this easy mod.

Good luck :)

Edited by Cassiebox
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  • 2 weeks later...

Won't pop b/c it's not heating. Could be lighter or receptacle but you should be able to pull out lighter...

Are you sure you seated electrical plug correctly on back? I'd suggest pulling the wing off again and use a multimeter to ensure there is power at the electrical plug. If there is, reconnect and test receptacle using multimeter... center is + and metal collar is - .

Good luck :)

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Thanks for the advise. The lighter is flush to the front of the receptacle so it can't be pulled out. I pulled the wing out again late last night and reseated the plug but still nothing. I think I may be able to physically push the lighter out from the side of the receptacle with a small screwdriver.

I picked up a multimeter from radio shack but don't know how to use it. There are several settings (multi) but electrical class was my freshman class in high school. Too long ago to remember much!

I think the boxster knows its going into storage and is fighting for another drive.

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Pushed the lighter out with a jewelers screwdriver. Looking at the plug that connects to the lighter receptacle there are 3 wires. A thin gauge blue wire with white stripe on top, a heavier gauge red wire in the middle, and a similiar gauge brown wire on the bottom of the plug.

I set the multimeter on DC V and attached the red probe into the DC 1000V + side and the black probe into the - COM. Then I pushed the probe into the middle plug (with the red wire) and the black probe into the bottom plug ( with the brown wire). I assume the lighter gauge blue wire with white stripe is to ground.

The multimeter was giving me very fluctuating readings between -190.00 mV and -14.0 mV. The readings literally went all over the place (all - , but changing every second).

Next I plugged the lighter assembly back into the plug and placed the red probe in the center of the lighter receptacle and placed the black probe on the outer rim. Again the multimeter went all over the place but gave all - readings. This would seem to indicate the there is power at the receptacle. When I pushed the lighter coil in to see if it would heat up indicating power it failed to heat or pop out.

Although I don't know why the reading were so varied or - , it would seem to me that there is voltage at the plug. Should I assume that I got a bad lightercoil from sun coast Porsche? I don't smoke so I don't care. My only concern is that the battery tender that I have plugged into the lighter receptacle is feeding the battery all winter so I don't have a dead battery to deal with come spring.

Any input would be appreciated

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Yes, sounds like power to receptacle. For wiring at the plug...red +, brown -, and blue/white should be + for the light (grounded to ring on receptacle IIRC). So, your coil/lighter sounds like it's bad. Do you have a cell phone/gps/tire pump/etc. cig lighter cord w/ power indicator light you can put in receptacle to test (I wouldn't necessarily have the gadget attached at the time..). Should be fine though for your maintainer...

BTW, if the car was off, you should have a reading of ~ 12.6V not 14. However, if you were using the 1000V setting (as opposed to a 20V or even 100V) it may be due to rounding by the DMM.?? If car is running it should be ~ 13.2-14.6V.

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Well I found an old cell phone car jack. The lighter receptacle would not light the led so I'm assuming that I do not have power. Btw the car jack did light in my other car so I know it works.

I thought that replacing the receptacle would be difficult but never thought there would be any problems after that. I'm gonna try replacing the fuse at D5 even though it looks fine. This is crazy!

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Suncoast no help? Strange as they've always been very helpful for me - talk to Ric Knab or Ryan.

Only suggestion is to retrace your steps again and test wiring and receptacle again w/ your multimeter and make sure plug is seated correctly on back side as sometimes they are tight and can get knocked out of position.

That said, some people get annoyed w/ the cig lighter being 'always on'. There is an off chance previous owner may have had it re-wired to switched (it's a PITA, but doable). So, test it w/ car on too just in case.

Worst case scenario, you can always do a direct connect to the battery for your maintainer. I have a c-tek unit and hooked up the eyelets to the battery for long term winter storage and only use cig lighter option for short term maintaining (like when I'll be gone for three weeks or so). As well, you could always add a separate cig lighter to the hidden phone power cord in the center console...

Remove carpeted panel by pulling outward 1-2" at red arrow on either one in driver or passenger foot well. When it pops, slide it forward into the footwell to release the slide tabs:


Look/reach around in there for a 4 conductor plug... it might be taped down but it looks like this


Then, hit your local parts store and pick up an extra cig lighter receptacle and some splice-tap connectors. Hook it up accordingly to the always on lead:


I had done mine like this for an accessory which I wanted to turn on/off w/ ignition switch.


Bonus is you'll have an extra (when you get your other one working ;) ) cig lighter to use.

Good luck :)

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on my car i added another cig lighter on the other dash wing ( the round plug was unused on my car), so now i have two plugs, good for radar and mobile phone charging at same time without having to get/drag around a 1 to 2 cigarette lighter adapter.

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The cigarette plug project is going on the back burner unless i get some warmer weather and some time to get over to where its stored. I'm going to have the car started weekly to charge the battery and keep everything fresh. Interestingly, the entire right wing was "out" after fiddling with the lighter assembly. I reset the other switches on the right wing (car lock switch, and the defroster switch) by cycling the car key in the drivers side door lock. Unfortunately, that reset did not affect the lighter assembly.

The panel on the left "wing" of my horseshoe is completely empty. There are two dummy switches and a cigarette plug dummy. Does Porsche prewire plugs to those switches or is it a complete DIY wiring project. Didn't get a chance to pop that side before storing.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions in trying to resolve this problem. Cassiebox, you have been an incredible resource! I know this will be resolved come spring.

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The dummy switches are just that.....dummies. I'm pretty sure Porsche pre-wires nothing, except for the telephone power. Every car is built to a specific order sheet. The order sheet may be for a car a dealer has spec'ed out or for a car ordered by a customer.


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